Thomas Sowell’s wise words on ‘racism’

Jul 20, 2020 by

by Will Jones, The Conservative Woman:

THOMAS Sowell is a noted economist and one of America’s great public intellectuals. He also happens to be black. Last week he told Fox News that in his view systemic racism ‘really has no meaning that can be specified and tested in the way that one tests hypotheses’.

He said: ‘It is one of many words, I don’t think even the people who use it have any clear idea what they are saying. Their purpose is served by having other people cave in.’

He voiced concern that if Joe Biden and the Democrats are elected in November, ‘considering the kinds of things that they are proposing, that can well be the point of no return for this country’.

The leading conservative scholar has been writing on these issues for 50 years. Back in 1994 he published his seminal Race and Culture, the fruit of a decade of research. It cannot be recommended highly enough and should be required reading for anyone who wants to have an informed opinion on these matters. I’ve compiled some of the most prescient and incisive quotations, which speak for themselves.

On difference and discrimination:

‘One of the most used and least defined words in the contemporary ideological vocabulary is “racism” . . . To some, every adverse judgment about any aspect of the behaviour or performance of any racial or ethnic group is “racism”. To others, it is only adverse judgments on the behaviour or performance of a selected list of racial or ethnic groups which is “racism”. Thus, even sweeping denunciations of whites, “Anglos”, or perhaps Jews, may be exempted from the charge of racism. More generally, those particular groups whose historic treatment is part of a general ideological indictment of Western civilisation cannot be criticised in any way without risking the charge of “racism”. Conversely, verbal (or even physical) assaults originating within such groups are often exempted from condemnation as racism – sometimes by an explicit redefinition which requires power as an essential ingredient in racism, so that blacks for example cannot be called racists in American society.’ (p154)

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